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Joey Barnes

Petit Le Mans IMSA: Bourdais leads at three-quarter distance into darkness

The Frenchman took over from Scott Dixon, who either led or ran second throughout his term in the Cadillac V-Series.R. Louis Deletraz, who took over from Ricky Taylor, ended up leading the majority of the last two hours until a late pit stop relegated the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06 to third before passing Jack Aitken with 2h43m left.

Aitken, driving the #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, has been a fixture among the top three. The two drivers are hovering at 13s and 14s each, respectively, behind Bourdais. Matt Campbell propelled the #7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 up to fourth.

The #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Tom Blomqvist runs fifth, trailing the three ahead by roughly 1.5s. A miserable day for the #6 PPM 963 continued when Laurens Vanthoor went off in Turn 3 with 3h25m remaining, causing heavy damage – again – to the rear wing.

In LMP2, Ryan Dalziel is top of the class in the #Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07, ahead of Nolan Siegel in the #04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA LMP2.

The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Alex Quinn sits third. With 3h20m left, championship leader Mikkel Jensen overshot Turn 5 and pounded the tire barrier with his #11 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07. Jensen, who was able to return to the pits and negate the chance of a full course yellow, was running third at the time.

In LMP3, the #74 Riley Ligier JS P320 of Josh Burdon leads over Garett Grist in the #30 Jr III Racing Duqueine D08. The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 of Brian Thienes crashed in Turn 3 with four hours left following contact from the #023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3.

The GTD Pro class is led by the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Jordan Pepper. Alex Riberas has the #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 closely behind the leader. The #9 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) for Pfaff Motorsports is third with Patrick Pilet.

Just 10 minutes past the halfway mark, race leader Tommy Milner was stopped off course in Turn 3 after an apparent mechanical issue to the #3 Corvette Racing C8.R GTD.

In the pro-am GTD class, The #32 Mercedes AMG GT3 for Korthoff/Preston Motorsports, with Mike Skeen driving, is out front.

Indy Dontje has the #57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 in second. Wright Motorsports was leading the class in the #16 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), but the decision to pit after Jensen’s aforementioned off-track adventure – anticipating a caution that never came – dropped them down the running order to ninth, and off-sequence, with Zacharie Robichon at the helm. However, Robichon was able rise to third in class at the break.

The #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 officially retired from the race with 3h30m remaining.

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